Phone Scam Preys on Small Business Owners Looking for a Loan

A new scam is circulating that businesses should be aware of, in which criminals attempt to take advantage of small business owners who have applied for Small Business Administration loans.

According to one anecdotal report, a business owner received a phone call several months after applying for a loan. The caller was a pleasant woman who pretended to have spoken with the business owner previously, despite the fact that the business owner had yet to receive any contact regarding her business loan request. The caller informed the business owner that the loan had been approved and asked her to call back with additional information about the loan request.

Phone Scam Targets Those Looking for Small Business Loan

Fortunately, the above scenario did not result in the scammer obtaining the information required to ‘steal’ the loan from the Small Business Administration. However, it is critical to inform small business owners that this scam is being attempted by criminals looking for information in order to redirect approved small business loans.

Many small business owners may be desperate for financial relief and thus vulnerable to handing over private information about their loan request, allowing the scammers to claim it for themselves.

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Scammers Prey on People’s Need for Financial Assistance

Tiffany Bernhardt-Schultz, Southwest Wisconsin Regional Director for the Better Business Bureau, commented: “We know that consumers were filing for loans and business owners were filing for some financial support. Scammers have found a way to capitalize and to lure their victims into their tricks.”

“Scammers have become very complex. They want you to feel that their offer is real. You shouldn’t base your decision on calling them back without doing research.”

Better Business Bureau Scam Tracker

Small business owners can report suspected scam attempts on the Better Business Bureau’s website, as well as read up on the most recent scams reported. Also, always conduct background checks on any person or organization that requests personal or sensitive information about a loan request before handing it over.

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